King’s Classic Montreux Show Will Appeal To Her Most Devoted Fans

Courtesy: Eagle Rock Entertainment

Carole King has seemingly done it all over the course of her career.  She has released 17 studio albums, released countless hit songs, earned just as many awards and nominations for her music and even been honored with a Broadway music.  She will also serve as one of the featured performers for this year’s Independence Day celebration on PBS.  That’s a heck of a resume (of sorts), and is surely just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Early this month, Eagle Rock Entertainment released a new archived performance from King from 1973.  The performance, recorded at the famed Montreux Jazz Festival, is a presentation that is sure to appeal to King’s most devoted fan base.  That is due in part to its set list, which will be discussed shortly.  King’s performance of said set list plays into that appeal, too.  It will be discussed a little later.  The recording’s liner notes put the final touch to its presentation and will also be discussed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Carole King: Live at Montreux 1973.  All things considered, they make this recording a piece that King’s fans will agree shows why she is “King” in name, but royalty in the bigger picture of the music industry.

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s new Carole King live recording Live at Montreux 1973 is a presentation that will appeal easily to King’s most devoted fan base.  That is due in no small part to the recording’s set list.  The 15-song set focuses largely on King’s 1973 album Fantasy and her 1971 record TapestryWriter (1970) is represented here with a performance of ‘Up On The Roof,’ but otherwise, the set list is composed of songs from the noted albums.  Fantasy gets the bigger portion of the show, with 10 of the album’s 13 songs featured in the set in the near same sequence as they are presented in the album’s presentation.  The only songs featured in Fantasy that are not featured in this performance are ‘Directions,’ ‘Weekdays’ and ‘Welfare Symphony.’  Again, save for those songs, the rest of Fantasy is featured here in its exact order from the album.  In regards to Tapestry, that record gets seven nods.  The album features 12 songs, to put that previous number into perspective.  In other words, while it may not be featured in whole itself, it certainly receives a healthy representation, too.  The songs are not presented in the same sequence from the album, but King’s most devoted fans will obviously overlook that, considering again just how many of the album’s songs are here.  It is not known why King’s 1971 album Music and its 1972 follow-up Rhymes and Reasons are not featured as part of the set list, considering that the performance featured in this recording came only a month after the original release of Fantasy – this little factoid is one of the interesting notes featured in veteran journalist Jim Farber’s liner notes, and will be discussed later – but that aside, the set list that is presented is such that it will still appeal to audiences even without those albums’ representation.  Keeping all of this in mind, the set list at the center of Live at Montreux 1973 forms a strong foundation for the recording.  That foundation is strengthened even more by King’s performance and that of her band mates who eventually join her on stage.

King’s performance of the show’s set list (and that of her band mates (al clad in St. Louis Blues hockey jerseys – that should add even more appeal to a certain cross section of King’s fan base, considering history was made by the Blues this year) strengthens the recording’s foundation even more because of the group’s ability to pull audiences into the experience.  It is difficult to fully put into words just what it is about the group’s performance, but audiences are pulled into the show through the group’s performance.  Maybe it is the subtlety in King’s own performance.  Maybe it is the subtlety of her band mates’ performances, which build on her own work, or maybe it is all of the above.  Even in the concert’s more energetic numbers, there is a certain control among King and company that creates its own power, and in turn pulls audiences in that much more.  It’s like watching a good movie or reading a really good book.  The collective performances present such expert talent that audiences will have no problem escaping into the performance.  Audiences will know, obviously, they are not there as they watch, but at the same time, the performances make it so easy to get wrapped up in the performance.  That is a tribute to the work of all involved.  When this is considered along with the concert’s set list in general, the two elements together make Live at Montreux 1973 that much more appealing for King’s most devoted fan base.  They are not the only elements of this recording that the noted audiences will appreciate.  The recording’s bonus liner notes put the finishing touch to this recording’s presentation.

The inclusion of bonus liner notes is nothing new for Eagle Rock Entertainment’s live recordings.  The liner notes always add so much to the recordings’ presentations, too.  This recording is no exception to that rule.  As previously noted, veteran journalist Jim Farber – who has worked for outlets, such as Time magazine, The New York Times and Mojo magazine – crafted the liner notes for this recording.  Farber offers plenty of information to add to the experience through his liner notes.  He reveals in his notes that the performance featured here was recorded only one month after King released Fantasy, adding prior to the performance here, the songs featured on that record had not been tested in a live setting.  That is important to note because considering this would have been the first official live outing for Fantasy, it received quite the positive reaction from audiences at the time.  To that end, it makes the recording a certain historical documentation of sorts.  He further states the performance here was a stark contrast to the 10,000 people before whom King had performed only six weeks prior in New York.  Additionally, he notes that the performance featured here marked king’s first-ever international outing.  King jokes nervously with her audience late in the show how little French she knows (for those who might not know, Montreux’s location makes French one of four prominent languages spoken in that region of Sweden.  The other prominent languages spoken in Montreux are German, Italian and Romansh.), leading to some playful laughs from the audience along with King. King even makes light of that herself in the hour-long performance.  As if everything noted here is not enough for audience, Farber also makes note of King’s role in the advent of the Smooth Jazz movement through certain songs that are featured here.  Audiences can read about those songs for themselves.  Between the revelations discussed here and plenty of others that Farber makes in his liner notes, the notes in whole join with the performance to strengthen the presentation of Live at Montreux 1973 even more.  It gives King’s most devoted fan base that much more reason still to add this recording to their own music libraries.  All things considered, the recording in whole leaves audiences agreeing that King is royalty not just in name, but in the bigger picture of the music industry.

Eagle Rock Entertainment’s recently released Carole King live recording Live at Montreux 1973 is a presentation that King’s most devoted fan base will find appealing with each watch.  That is due, as discussed here, in part to the shows’ set list, which presents King at an early stage of her career; not its infancy, but still very early on.  The performance of King and her fellow musicians will certainly pull audiences into the concert, adding to the experience for the noted audiences even more.  The recording’s bonus liner notes, crafted by veteran journalist Jim Farber puts the finishing touch to the recording’s whole.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Live at Montreux 1973.  All things considered, they  make Live at Montruex 1973 a virtual time capsule of Carole King’s career that her most devoted fans will assuredly appreciate.  It is available now.  More information on Live at Montreux 1973 is available online now along with all of Carole King’s latest news and more at:










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From Dust To Dreams A Concert Dream Come True

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

Las Vegas is typically known by its nickname, “Sin City.”  The other “city that never sleeps” is dominated by gambling, girls, and much more.  Because of that reputation, few people would ever associate the famed city with a center for the performing arts.  But there is in fact a center for the performing and cultural arts in Las Vegas now in the Smith Center for the Performing Arts.  Thanks to PBS, audiences that weren’t able to be in attendance at the celebration of the center’s opening can now re-live the concert event any time that they want.

from Dust to Dreams: Opening Night at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts chronicles the celebration held in honor of the center’s opening.  What can be said of this performance but it was an impressive show from a who’s who of the music and entertainment community.  Performers the likes of Jennifer Hudson, Mavis Staples, John Fogerty, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and more than can be named here took part in the two-hour long celebration of the arts coming to Las Vegas at long last.  Host of the Tonys and star of CBS’ How I Met Your Mother served as emcee of this presentation.  What’s interesting to note about his presence in this performance is how much different it was in comparison to what audiences have become accustomed to from the actor.  This isn’t a bad thing, either.  If anything, it only serves to heighten the enjoyment of the overall presentation.  Add in expertly mixed audio and video, and audiences get what is in retrospect one of the best live recordings of 2012.

The very first thing that can be noted of from Dust to Dreams is that it opens and closes in fine fashion.  The opening number performed by trumpet player Arturo Sandoval.  Sandoval’s performance was an outstanding opener for the two-hour event.  His control over his instrument shows the result of his years of training.  This is especially the case when he hits the final high note of his opening number.  Far too often, some overzealous performers hit high notes in songs, thinking they sound good.  But in reality the performers in question are blasting out the notes, resulting in a very harsh sound.  That wasn’t the case with Sandoval’s performance.  His performance got the energy flowing and set the bar for what was to come through the rest of the show’s performances.

The performances that follow that of Sandoval hold the bar quite well.  Whether the medley of songs from Man of La Mancha and West Side Story, the classic country of veteran artist Willie Nelson, or even the more rocking sounds of John Fogerty, this show spans the musical spectrum and will entertain audiences of all ages and musical tastes.  Adding to the enjoyment of the concert is the presence of emcee Neil Patrick Harris.  Yes, Harris was more subdued in his hosting duties here than as host of the Tonys.  But this was an entirely different event.  Even the performers had their time on stage limited as there were so many performers.  What’s more, Harris did offer his share of pretty funny jokes when he was on stage.  Audiences need to keep this in mind in considering his performance as emcee of this event.  In doing so, those same individuals will enjoy the laughs that Harris shares when he is on stage.

The performance of host Neil Patrick Harris and that of the show’s performers make from Dust to Dreams quite the enjoyable live recording.  One would be remiss though, to ignore the importance of the show’s audio and video mix.  Going back to the show’s opening number by Arturo Sandoval straight through to the show’s closing number, the audio and video have been expertly mixed.  There are some songs that absolutely soar throughout the course of this program.  And then there are other, more subtle pieces that were captured so well.  Whether one has a home surround sound theater or not, one can still experience so much.  Those that do have home theater systems will appreciate the performances even more.  That’s because the picture will look crystal clear on an HDTV and the sound will sound just as clear.  This is especially true for those with surround sound.  It is these aspects that make the overall presentation on this DVD so enjoyable.  In retrospect, it makes this collection of performances one of the best live recordings of 2012.  From Dust to Dreams is available now.  It can be ordered online direct from the PBS online store at

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Carnival Of Madness Band Line-Up Announced

Courtesy:  abc-pr

Courtesy: abc-pr

With the unofficial start of Summer come and gone, that means that lots of people will be hitting the roads very soon for their annual Summer vacations.  It also means that the annual rush of Summer music festivals will also be hitting the road.  One of those festivals is the annual Carnival of Madness tour.  The festival tour begins Sunday, August 11th.  A full list of tour dates will be made available on the official Carnival of Madness website next Monday, June 3rd.  Tickets will go on sale next Friday, June 7th.

The tour—sponsored by Monster Energy—will feature Shinedown, Papa Roach, Skillet, In This Moment, and We As Human on the bill.  This year’s tour is not the first time on the festival’s lineup for Shinedown.  The band headlined the festival tour in its inaugural run in 2010.  When it hits the road, the band will be touring in support of its new EP, The Live Room. The EP features five songs from the band’s most recent full length LP, Amaryllis.  Also included in the new EP are performances of Carole King’s classic hit, ‘I Feel The Earth Move’ and audio and video performances of the band’s latest single, ‘I’ll Follow You’, as well as its megahit, ‘Bully.’ 

 Skillet will be touring on the heels of its most recent full length studio release, Awake.  The album was one of only three rock albums that went platinum in 2012.  The only other rock albums to reach Platinum status in 2012 were El Camino from The Black Keys and Babel from Mumford & Sons.  That was just one of the many honors for Awake.  The album debuted at #2 on Billboard’s “top 200 Albums Chart” and #1 on its “Top Modern Rock/Alternative Albums” chart.  Also, it reached #1 on iTunes’ “Top Album” chart.  It garnered the band three Billboard Music Awards and four hit singles, including the Gold-Certified #1 single, ‘Awake & Alive’, the Gold-Certified ‘Hero’, ‘It’s Not Me It’s You’ and the Platinum-Certified ‘Monster.’  The companion video to ‘Monster’ earned more than 52 million views on YouTube.  NBC used ‘Hero’ for broadcasts of its weekly NFL Sunday Night Football.  It also served as the theme song for WWE’s 2012 Royal Rumble broadcast.  On June 25th, the band will release the follow-up to Awake  with its new full length album, Rise.  The band already has released two songs from the album, ‘Sick of It’ and ‘American Noise.’  Both songs have already hit #1 on the iTunes Rock Chart.

All of the accolades received by Skillet have potentially helped another band on the bill for this year’s tour.  That band is We As Human.  The band was signed to Atlantic Records in 2011 via Hear It Loud, a partnership formed partially by Skillet’s John Cooper along with manager Zach Kelm and Todd Rubenstein after Cooper had discovered the band.  The band’s self-titled debut album will be available June 25th

In This Moment joins this year’s tour on the heels of the release of its latest album, Blood, which was released in August 2012.  Blood debuted at #15 on the Billboard “Top 200 Albums” Chart and has sold over 150,000 copies since its release.  The album spawned two hits, ‘Adrenalize’ and its title track.  The band’s 2007 debut record, Beautiful Tragedy earned the band a spot on both the 2007 and 2008 Ozzfest.  And 2008’s The Dream landed the band a slot on the 2009 Warped Tour.  2010’s A Star-Crossed Wasteland was the band’s highest-charting album until the release of Blood

Papa Roach’s most recently released single, ‘Where Did The Angels Go’ reached #1 on the Active Rock Radio Chart from BDS/Billboard.  The single comes from the band’s most recent full length release, The Connection, released via Eleven Seven Music.  The album was released in October 2012 and debuted as iTunes’ #2 Rock album.  It’s just one of ten Top 10 rock hits and seven Top 10 alternative hits.  The band also has two Grammy nominations and an MTV VMA nomination.

For more information on each band and the upcoming tour, fans can go online to the festival’s official website, or its official Facebook page,  Audiences can also get the latest updates on the tour via Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube at,, and

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